March 10, 2014 |
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I commute, I carpool. I have done it for years (even before the gas prices went up, because it is the right thing to do). It works well. There are trade-offs. Some days I have to wait for my ride share to finish a project, but some days she waits for me. I get more done at work when I stay later anyway. Driving gets to be a chore, so I like not having to do it everyday. Plus we get along well and there is someone to talk to.
It really is a greater issue than City Government. The K-10 corridor and its feed into Lawrence is not well planned out. The 59 corridor from the Mexican border through Texas and going north to Canada has not been the consideration since the governor of Kansas was in the trucking business. This connection should occur from Ottawa to east of Lawrence. The bridge in Eudora needs eventual repair. It would be nice to have a bridge over the river, west of Eudora and before the industrial park which links to the 59/35 highways to I-70. This way heavy truck traffic would then avoid feeding into 23rd St. It also would allow development south of Lawrence, to be able to connect to a transit system with commuter parking lots. It is not a problem for the East coast, e.g. Merritt Parkway, New Haven Railroad. They are even more heavily developed than we are. A monorail is the best and cheapest way to go. It's all part of the greater problem of connectivity, which individuals have less need or desire to give up their cars and their "freedom" to be able to runs errands or leisure activities if they don't have a car. Only when oil prices rise and parking becomes impossible, in either Lawrence or the dozens of communities between here and there, will people consider mass transit. One way to nudge people into this is reducing the speed limit on K-10 and making the connectivity to the Kansas City areas possible. The Midwestern sensibility is also its fate. It's taken this long to initiate the bus from KU to the Edwards campus which I hear is great. Except it doesn't work well with the late night classes. The monorail has to be a draw that is desirable. Unfortunately, Kansas City is steeped in their own debates for the necessary connection to their rail. As a commuter daily from Baldwin to Lawrence, one of hundreds, it would be nice to re-establish the railroad that ran from Ottawa to Lawrence, through Vinland. The commuter traffic on 59 from Ottawa will only get worse when the new highway is built. It is only for the trucking industry, to connect with the highway from Texas, and once again piles into Lawrence, creating another boondoggle 23rd. No one will use it because it stops short four miles north of Ottawa. The massive development south of Lawrence is not being planned by Ottawa or Douglas County commissions to feed into the new highway. People will still take the old 59. KDOT's plan is ludicrous and I sometimes think they have never considered the whole picture, including human needs or surrounding counties including Jefferson County. A long two cents, but a mass transit system is an excellent idea but the other factors have to be in place.
A better question for the poll might be "Would YOU use a transit system between Lawrence and KC?"
Let's find out if it's actually needed, or just someone's "good idea".
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